It was a soft and cooling morning, different then what I was used to. My eyes were reacting slightly slower to the fog, as was expected. I was used to the sun warming my face to gently awaken me, like a mother, softly calling her child to rise for the morning’s day of school. I smiled softly as I gazed about my small one bedroom apartment, the soft blue walls seeming to glisten against the dew filled windows and sapphire curtains. I looked at my clock next, almost frightened to see what time it was, not really wanting to know if I was going to be late for school. It read 2:26AM I had a few hours until I had to get up. Dang. I couldn’t fall asleep, the sun would be up soon, and I hate looking into the sun when trying to fall asleep. I got dressed for the day, my long jeans that were tight at the waist and flared at the cuffs, my knee high black leather riding boots, in case of rain, a purple tank top that fit my slender form nicely and the black and purple sweat shirt that my best friend had bought me before I had moved. I smiled. I then decided to look out my window, my eyes widening at the sight that I had seen. There, standing towards the sunrise, was a fairly tall man, pale in the face. He had turned around in one sift movement, and just as soon as I went to go see why he was up at such a late hour and in front of my very own apartment, he seemed to disappear. I was stunned. I couldn’t Figure out what could have possibly just happened before my eyes. Was I simply imagining him? I couldn’t think of any better reason then that. I’d have to tell Marybeth, my best friend, to hear her take on the story. And that was the beginning. The first sighting, if you will. And, for me, the final marking.
I went to asses the possibilities that were there, he was a fast runner and had a car parked closer then I thought and simply couldn’t see, or something paranormal. I was almost hoping for the later. I ran softly in the dry dirt, my long knee high boots making dust clouds about my feet. The long pants I had worn were slowly turning the color of the dust as I slowed to a stop. I saw a small strand of string in the ground. A rabbit trap. I stepped over the string and again began to jog over to where I had seen the man standing in a soft black cloak and practically jet black hair. His features seemed to be etched into my mind, like a childhood crush a schoolgirl would never forget. Those always ended bad. I reached the spot of dust in which he stood tall, the foot prints still in the dirt. Beside them, I had seen some marks of fairly quick movement. The dust kicked up at an angle, seemingly different then that of the average runner’s stance. It was almost as if the person who made them, was floating. Picked up and poised, like the wind shifted many times beneath his feet. It was almost shocking. Almost.
I simply walked back to my home, not sure if it was really worth figuring out this somewhat small mystery. The hot air of the morning slowly took the place of the coldness that was more then welcome. The school day would begin in two short hours, and I had to pack my bag. I felt silly, running about my house to pack my wireless notebook, my few paper notebooks, a bunch of pens and pencils, as well as my sketch book that, by now, was nearly full. The one picture that was really good, in my eyes, was that of the “Angel” series that I had drawn. Two figures standing in a fighters stance, one foot out the other pointed. Hands in a ready position. One holding a fairly large sword the other holding a cithe. Both with wide wings that spread off the sides of the paper, the one with the sword had feathery wings the other would have dark leathery ones. Both had eyes of one pure color, silver. In the background I had drawn a few clouds, going from light to dark as one figure ended and the other began, signifying the difference between the good and bad angelic figures. This had taken me all of one week to completely finish. The first day of school of my junior year, like all years, was going to be tough. I had to find friends, keep my grades up, and complete all of my homework. And this year, it was going to get harder. I quickly ate my breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast and ran out to the parked white Honda civic that, by now, I could legally drive. I cranked up the AC and tossed my shoulder bag onto the passenger’s seat. I honked the horn and yelled bye to my mother as I drove off towards Mingus Union High. Smiling as I drove, I noticed the sky was, amazingly, getting darker, like Rain. I figured it wouldn’t last, but in any case, it made my mood lift.
I parked my car in one of the back rows, almost wondering if that was a good idea. It wasn’t. I jogged the length of the parking lot, glad for getting here so early, so I wouldn’t have people asking me why I was running. I needed to get my exercise done for the day, besides Gym, of course. The clouds that were darkening the sky made me smile.
“Maybe, it’ll rain today…” I whispered softly to myself. Just then, I had heard a screeching car. Fast one at that. A red Ferrari was parked next to my white Honda civic. Odd, I thought, since this was supposedly a “Large Public School” that a rich kid might choose to come here. I almost hoped it would be a teacher. I kept walking towards the school building, clutching my bag to my shoulder, I reached my left hand into the air and took the elastic that held my shoulder-length hair up in a high Pony-Tail. I let it fall freely about my back, shaking my head softly so as to let it cover the back of my neck. I headed straight for the main office. As I entered the small brick building with no windows, I felt the cool air wash against my face, knowing it was air conditioning, it made my mood drop slightly, yet the freshness of it, was still extremely welcomed. A small, fairly pudgy woman with a warm smile greeted me. She had these large glasses about her neck and soft blonde hair that curled at the top of her head, reminding me of an olden-day grandmother. That made me smile. I told her my name and she gave me a pile of papers to fill out, guess mom forgot to do some paper work.
“Your first class is history, darlin’ you can get me those papers by the end of the week, you and your mother need to fill them all out and make sure we get the necessary information. Now, make sure you get to your first class on time, okay hunny?”
‘Darlin‘’ ‘Hunny?’ I guess all teachers and secretary personnel like to pretend we are all their children, no matter what state or country. “Sure, no problem.” I lied. This was a huge school, I was bound to get lost. Just then, the little bell sounded, making me aware that the one driving the red Ferrari had entered the small room. The smell of soft flowers seemed to flow about the room, making my blood boil, I could feel him smirking behind me, I went stone cold.
“Hey, Dante, it’s been a long time since I saw your pretty smile.” said the lady behind the counter. “We have a new student today, would you mind being her aid? She has most of your classes, actually. Her name is--”
“Kelsea, correct?” He smiled, seeming happy that he got my name right. He had a cool expression on his face, eyes a soft grey tone that would make any girl smile. His facial features were pretty much flawless, he had broad shoulders, like a fighter, and kept his posture neat and upright, poised for anything. I sighed, and nodded since he was obviously waiting for me to tell him he did a good job at stalking.. “Sure, Mrs. Lepage, I’ll show her around.” He reached over the counter and grabbed a sheet of paper. In a flash I had seen the words ‘Class Sheet -- Dante Rivera’ I almost took a double take, since I was sure I saw some of the ink transform into the exact same classes as I had. I simply looked away, he cocked an eyebrow.
“Thanks.” I muttered, allowing my voice to sound really grateful, instead of awed. He simply nodded in my direction. His eyes still hammering towards my own.
“Our first class is History with Mr. Des. He is really loud, so you might want to just take a tape recorder to his class.” He reached into his pocket and pulled one out handing it to me. I took it and stuffed it in my bag. “Trust me, he does more tests on his wife’s problems then actual History.” His smile seemed to grow, then fade as he passed me. I followed him, smiling and clutching onto my bag as I kept pace with his long strides. One thought went across my mind, and I voiced it.
“How did you know my name? It’s not a small town, so you can’t use that excuse, so how?” I looked more perplexed then I needed to be, because he pretty much laughed in my face. I glared.
“Word simply travels around fast when your one of the more…important people in town.” He chuckled deeply. I just cocked a brow, he looked at me, overly confused. “Wow, you really are new.. Hmmm.. You’ll learn soon enough.” He simply smiled. I was un-impressed. We passed a few halls and then he stopped in front of his locker, I looked at my paper and saw the number ‘123’ I looked around, number ‘123’ was written on the locker next to his. Odd...He opened the locker for me and smiled. I jumped as I heard another screeching car, can’t people learn to drive slower? I sighed.
“Looks like my brother is here. Oh poo I was having such fun.” He smiled and walked off a bit. He turned on his heals with such a swift movement, it shocked me, reminding me of what had occurred that morning. The images went through my head quickly, breaking when he started to speak. “Welcome to Mingus High.”
I smiled softly and then decided to pack my locker for the days work and schedule. I thought it strange, however, the fast car, the seemingly flawless skin he had. His eyes were a cool grey, almost arctic, and his hair was such a deep and haughty brown, it made me smile. The fact that he had such a floral scent, one of my favorites, was a plus. I just didn’t like his attitude. He was too proud. Hiding something big. I would try to pay no mind to him and simply smile and act as cheerful as I could. Which wouldn’t be hard since the sky was still cooling and misty. I closed my eyes for a brief moment and listened to the cool breeze play in my mind, the softness of the day and the seemingly endless night, my ultimate time of day. As I opened my eyes, there was a man leaning against a wall across from me, smiling. His hair was a soft black, eyes blue as the sea, and his figure fairly muscular. He lifted his head and opened his eyes as well, smiling warmly towards my direction. ‘When did he get here?’ was my only thought. He was truly unique, soft, but was surely tough. I saw in a quick glance he had a poetry book in his left hand, and a pencil in his right. I smiled warmly. Not to him, however, but to my distant yet close dream. He took it wrong. He walked towards me with an elegance unknown, just as Dante rounded the corner. Dante had frowned, I could feel it without seeing his face.
“Hey brother. This is Kelsea, she’s new. She has our classes with us, so I thought we both could walk with her to guide her around, alright?” Dante was smiling as softly as ever, watching his brother’s each movement.
“Sorry, I can‘t Dante. I need to be early for my next few classes. Oh, and I switched out of a lot of the classes we took together, sorry.” He smiled, but only a slight half smile. Dante simply nodded. Then the other one turned and left his eyes quickly flickering from blue to black. I looked shocked.
“He isn’t normally like that. Sorry. It must be -- Hmm…” He chuckled lightly, I just blinked. For some strange reason I was eerily quiet. The first class went horrid.
“Kelsea Conlan, from Rhode Island, right? Why don’t you introduce yourself to the class.” Said the annoying teacher Dante had called ‘Mr. Des.’ I knew I wasn’t going to like him. I simply nodded.
“Hi. I just moved here from Rhode Island, still not used to the weather here, it’s too dry for me, it’s cold.” I hugged my arms close to me as I stated that. I would then simply take my seat near the middle of the class. The only empty seat. Dante strolled in casually late, still as flawless as before and took up the “Reserved” seat that was beside me. Great.
“Welcome back, Mr. Des, how is Mrs. Des? Still acting crazy over the cats?” The entire class giggled and I had seen some students take out cell phones as Mr. Des went into a ramble about his wife. I flicked on the recorder he had given me earlier. Dante smiled and, seemed to listen, nodding and laughing when Mr. Des smirked or pointed something serious out. Strange. I watched the clock, doodling in my sketch book. I started out by drawing a horse, the muscle’s in it’s coat seeming to shine with the shadowing and etching I had put into it. The mane, I drew so as to blow free in a gentle wind. I placed the right fore leg on top of a rigid rock. Thirty minutes left of class. I placed the left hind leg down on a flat slab of rock. On the horses’ hind quarters and neck I had etched a small marking. A Celtic symbol with a “K” in the middle. Ten minutes left of class. I stopped watching the clock. In the background I had drawn a few dark clouds, as well as a faded pair of eyes. I then took out my charcoal pencil and my red colored pencil. I shaded the cornea of the eyes red and the pupil I dabbed a bit of red inside as well. With the Charcoal pencil, I shaded in the horse, making it look more life-like. Darkening the shadowy areas. The bell rang. Dang. I put my notebook away and then stood up, reaching for my sketchbook that wasn’t there. I blinked and as I looked up, Dante had stolen it from atop my desk. Crud
“You’re pretty good, Kelsea. But, what’s with the faded eyes? And why red?” He seemed to enjoy the picture, firing questions left and right about each thing. Including the marking that I could have sworn was unnoticeable to the average eye. His eyes were glowing, he must be an artist. I chuckled.
“Thank you, first of all, and are you a good art critique or bad?” I laughed, knowing I would answer him either way.
“Depends on your perspective, I guess. Good in some senses, bad in others. But I love art.” He smirked. I smiled.
“Well, it’s really all symbolism. The horse is…something close to me…seemingly strong, but if you look hard enough, hurt, broken, and sad. As you must see in the eyes of the horse, the pain that I made to be hidden. As for the faded eyes, that’s how…The horse feels. Trapped. Unable to know if truth and reality truly are separate. Because to her, they are the same. Mingling and twisting in the same fabric of her life.” I smiled as I rambled on about my art work. He listened and countered with more questions and advice that was greatly appreciated. We walked to our next class, and at the door he gave me back my sketchbook. We were seated at two opposite ends of the class, his cool grey eyes becoming seemingly black, deep. The bell for class to begin rings, Dante’s brother walks in, sat next to me and allowed his desk to move slightly farther from my own. Funny.
“Alright, quite as a pin. Summer is over, time for school. Open your sketchbooks to the next blank page. You have an hour. Begin.” I think I like this teacher. I opened up my book and began to draw again, loving it. I started simply making lines and curves, shadows and deep marks. Eventually, it became that of a person in a long cloak. I widened my eyes, my hands continuing to draw. The body became more muscular, the hair a deep black, hinting bits of a hearty brown. I used the cloak as a cover of his feet and the ground he stood on was a flat and sandy surface. I used the hair to create wind, making it swirl in some places, to identify the swirling wind about his figure. His cloak too was blowing about freely in the soft wind that I had created. I began to draw my backyard. The many desert-like trees and the cool sand that was covered in shadows. Fifteen minutes left of the seemingly endless class. I took out my charcoal pencil and began to sketch in the shadows on the mysterious man and the darkening sky. I knew I would dream about him tonight. If it we not a dream when I had first spotted him. I felt a hand on my shoulder, which made me jump. It was the teacher.
“Amazing, miss…What is your name?” I was stunned for a second, my voice cracked.
“Kelsea Conlan, Ma’am.” I simply said, sighing as I thought of her showing my picture to the rest of the class. I prayed I was wrong. I’m really not that good.
“Miss Conlan. You are very talented. I’d like you, Dante, and Darion to create the scenery for the drama classes. As well as some of the banners. Alright?” She looked about the room, no body objected to this teacher, I guessed. But I really didn’t want to.
“Actually, Mrs. Knight, I can’t. I have to participate in drama as well as three sports this year, and drawing would take up a lot of my time. So as much as I would love to, I simply can’t.” The entire class stared at me, including Dante. Uh-oh.
“Miss Conlan, I really think you should reconsider. Sports can wait, you’re a girl--”
I was appalled. “I’m a girl? Excuse me, but just because I am a girl does not mean that sports are out of my jurisdiction. As for your authority, it’s highly questionable. You, as a teacher, are entitled to tell me to do my work, when it’s all due by, and if I have a detention by rights of the school code. You, however, do not have the authority to tell me, a student that is not your child, if I can or can’t play sports.” I stood up. I looked her straight in the eyes and smiled. “If you disagree, we both can take this argument to the principal, I am sure he would love to hear how you are trying to control your students to do exactly what you wish for them to do.” She glared. I won. I sat down as she walked away, the entire class was stunned. She turned on her heals and spoke to the class, her voice somewhat cracked.
“Back to work!” The strong front this teacher posed was broken. Dante’s eyes widened as he looked to me and mouthed the words ’You got guts’ from across the room. I saw his brother, smirk. I had won an extremely tough battle. It felt kind of good. I finished my drawing and as soon as I had seen Dante rise to come towards my desk, I scooped up my sketchbook and thrust it into my bag. He cocked an eyebrow. I simply smiled.
“So, are you going to show me that drawing or do I have to steal it from you?” He said as we walked to Gym. I simply smiled and held my bag closer to me, my eyes taking a more defensive stare he seemed to notice. He chuckled. “As you wish.” were the only words he had said before spinning and catching the corner of my bag. I swung it over my shoulder and towards my chest, my left foot sliding against the tiled flooring till it pointed inward behind his right ankle, my eyes on his each step of the way. This happening in less then three seconds as I quickly kept my ground. He had smiled, keeping his heartbeat normal as his eyes searched me.
“Not too bad for someone who doesn’t know me, or my family.” He said with a laugh in his voice. “I’ll make a deal. In gym class today. It’s wrestling. If you win more matches then I do, you get to see my art and I have to chauffer you around the next two weeks. But, if I win, you have to show me your sketch book and come with me to the meteor shower tonight. Alright?” He kept smiling. I thought about it. “Oh, and my brother will be coming to our gym class as well, so he can be the judge. And the deciding fight if we are tied. He’s the toughest fighter in school.’ I laughed. “What?”
“Your brother is a poet, with a slim yet toned build. His eyes show me that he can fight with the force of a killer, but he uses it wisely, not in mere sport.” Dante smiled, but looked almost confused. I probably should have explained, but I didn’t. “Lets just go to gym, as for the bet, your on.”
We both headed into our separate changing areas, getting into shorts and tees, since long pants and shirts were prohibited from the class. I tugged on my blue billabong tee and my Camp Fuller sweat shorts, as well as put my hair into a high ponytail and put on sneakers. I walked through the gym doors towards the center of the gym, where Mrs. Marled, or Mrs. M, had been standing with a fake smile.
“Today, class, we are going to be wrestling. I’d like…Lets see, Darion, and, the girl from Rhode Island. That should be a good match.” Me and Dante’s brother, who I now knew to be Darion, were walking to the front of the class, he sighed as he reached the front, but took a ready position anyway. His eyes told me he was bored and truly didn’t want to fight. If I was going to beat Dante, I had to put on a show. I had to beat his brother, or end it in a tie. Great. The teacher signaled for us to begin, he crouched, I copied, we mimicked each other’s movements for about five turns until he made a lunge. I side stepped, he came with a sweeping kick to my ankles, I dove, did a somersault, and stood on my two feet again, my eyes not leaving that of his body. He smiled, his eyes seeming to get joy out of this. I crouched low in a tiger position, my left leg forward a body length apart from my right. My left hand above my head and my right arm at my waist. He copied. He made a quick lunge, I went forward. We collided six times before the teacher called it a draw. Both of us had a total of three bruises. But I had noticed my hand was bleeding from clenching my fist behind my back. Dang. He smelled the air, his eyes going to the back of his head, he excused himself from class. I ripped my tee-shirt and wrapped it in the cloth, not wanting to go to the nurses office. I pulled my knuckle glove from my bag and used that to keep my hand from smelling of blood, Dante’s eyes were black. Strange. As I stared, they slowly flickered back to the usual soft grey color they were. This was going to be an interesting year. People stayed far enough away from Dante when his eyes went black, I thought that to be fairly odd as well. Was I really the only one who didn’t know what was going on around here? Or was I not supposed to. I’d figure this whole state out soon enough. How hard could it be to understand a rich family and a large school?
I got a sucker punch to the stomach, the class stared, Dante was looking dead at me, glaring at the person who threw the punch. I smirked, I could feel my eyes darkening, my pulse racing as I went into post-frenzy. A crooked grin on my face as I went with soft sweeping kicks, lunges and pins till he was on the floor, stunned, and out of breath. I had won my 2nd fight of the day, Dante was on his third. I found a partner. It went like that all of gym class. I was on my fourth person and I lost track of Dante. Dang. I lost two out of the six matches he had lost none. Crud. Out of breath and panting like crazy I walked over towards him, he gave me a simple grin, practically laughing at me. I raised my head up high.
“I guess I win.” He said this with a cool voice, as if the matches were like a warm up drill for him. I nodded my head and sighed softly. “I’ll pick you up at 9:25 PM tonight, alright? Just look for the red car. Oh, and where do you live?” He seemed to actually want me to go with him to the meteor shower.
“Well, if you don’t mind, my mom is taking my car after lunch so I was going to just walk home. Or, you could give me a ride and that way, I get home faster and you know where I live. Deal? Oh, and I’ll let you take my sketchbook when we get to the lunch room.” I couldn’t believe I just said that. Was I crazy? Maybe.
“Alright, sure. Meet me by the door to the gym when you’re done changing.” I nodded and he left. I changed quickly, not sure exactly why I was rushing to go see this stranger that was so nice to me. It’s like he had a hold on my mind or something absurd like that. Although I didn’t mind it, it was nice to actually have a friend in a new school. Although I wasn’t too sure about his brother. Did I possibly do something to offend him in such a sort amount of time? I guessed I could ask Dante, maybe. My feet carried me along the slippery gym floor as I thought about everything in my head. Strange how when you slide against a gym flooring you feel as if you are floating. I felt my feet slip from under me, my body seeming to crash to the floor but not hit. I caught my breath as my eyes searched for any possible reason I didn’t slam my head against the polished wood with a possible sprained ankle. My only answer came from a familiar pair of blue eyes staring right at me. Darion. He was laughing at me as he placed me on my feet.
“For such a skilled fighter, one would think that you knew how to balance yourself when walking.” He cocked an eyebrow when I glared, but smiled.
“One would think a stranger with no knowledge of the said person would let them fall and laugh from a side distance, not in their face.” He sighed and apologized. I reached for my neck, taking a silver band that had a soft onyx stone tied with intricate designs of silver as well, and played with it between my fingers. “Thank you though.” I breathed when he started to walk away. He stopped. Almost wondering if I spoke at all, I was sure. He turned in one lithe movement, smiling this bright smile I haven’t yet seen him give. Not to me. Then he spoke, his voice velvet soft, making me flush.
“You are most welcome, Kelsea.” He walked toward me once again. “My brother is waiting for you, you shouldn’t keep him waiting, he’ll think I took you, Agarah.” He smiled still and took my hand, leading me to the front door. His touch was icy against my skin, yet left a burning sensation when he had pulled his hand from mine, reaching the door. He exited just before me, but when I went to follow him, he was nowhere in sight. What was going on?
“Hey Kelsea.” I heard Dante before I saw him, my eyes still adjusting to the light. “Ready for lunch? I thought we might eat outside. My brother went to go get you a meatball sub. You mind?” I simply blinked, not sure to thank him, or question him. Then I heard the screeching tires of Darion’s car. No choice, I had to accept. I smiled and nodded. He seemed pleased.
“Why just get me something?” We started to walk towards a fairly beautiful covered picnic table. I didn’t really expect less, both him and his brother were so flawless the whole of them being in this school made me laugh. I almost forgot about my question, and that he hadn’t answered. “So?”
“Well, me and my brother had a pretty huge breakfast…So we won’t be eating at lunch. But I noticed you didn’t have one and he thought you might like a sub, instead of the slop they serve here. It tastes like…Blood.” I cocked my head to the side.
“Personally, and you might think this strange, but I like the taste of blood.” I smiled, laughing softly, almost to myself. He blinked, smiled and laughed whole heartedly.
“You’re not alone there.” He smiled still, listening for the screeching of his brothers car. “You’re different, Kelsea. Never met anyone like you. Strange, are you sure you’re from New England?”
“You can check my birth Certificate if you don’t believe me, but I am from New England. Oh, and I am different because I, unlike preppy girls back home, believe in…the paranormal. Actually, My one dream, well, wish, is that-- Sorry, I shouldn’t be blabbing on like this about my petty things.” I smiled and placed the palm of my hand against the back of my neck.
“The Paranormal? You’re kidding. All that fairy tale junk? Vampires turning into bats, monsters with no control, Angels and unicorns, and all of that?” He looked almost appalled.
“Not really. But I do like the stories, Vampires with the controlling side. Using speed not flight. Strength, and mind numbing abilities that would make a person scream if they happened to them. Materialization, and of course, mind manipulation. Also, I love the stories on people with simple, but special abilities. But my favorites, are those of fallen angels and the fight between the two sides on earth.” I smiled, so did he. We heard the screeching tires turning in the parking lot. I jumped, he laughed. I glared and he went silent. His brother was quick into getting from the parking lot to here, Dante sighed I just laughed.
Darion stared at me as if I had nine heads. “What I miss?” His velvet voice made me silence my laughing. He looked so innocent.
“We were just talking about the paranormal and how vampires use speed instead of that bat myth.” I smiled when he laughed. Then he got closer, his faces was inches from mine, I felt my cheeks go red. He smiled and spoke softly, his voice like ice, but eyes like flames gone wild. “It’s not a myth though, Vampires are all real.” He smiled, his teeth shining. I thought I saw a glimpse of fang. I showed him mine.
“If you thought vampires were bad, wait till you really know me.” he took a step back, me and Dante laughed. “What, is the big bad fighter afraid of a mere girl?” I smirked. He glared, but smiled and laughed. The bell rang.
“Oh no, you didn’t eat.” Darion said worriedly. I shook my head smiling.
“I never really do eat at lunch. Nor do I eat breakfast. I just enjoy a tasty dinner.” I smiled. I picked up my bag and slung it across my shoulder. The next class, Dante and Darion weren’t going to be with me. Geometry.
I entered the fairly small classroom and sat in the back of the class.